Amana (622 46th Ave) — Saturday, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Go walking in a wiener wonderland this weekend (both sausage and canine) at the third annual Amana Colonies Wurst Festival, which introduces a new attraction this year: the Dachshund Derby. The festival was named “Best New Event of 2015” by the Iowa Tourism Commission.
Wiener dogs large and small will race toward glory at 3 p.m., with $5 registration fees going to Safe Haven of Iowa County, a no-kill animal shelter. At a minimum, participants must appear to be dachshunds and be non-aggressive and up to date on their shots.
After the race, the pups can relax and splash around in a baby pool to beat the heat. All dachshunds are also eligible for the dog/owner look-alike contest, longest dachshund, best trick, bobbing for wienies and Wurst Dog competition, which awards bad behavior.
Human sausage fans can also prove their fortitude with “Masskrugstemmen” at 1 p.m. Intrepid contestants grip a five-pound stein of beer and hold it straight out in front of them until they can hold it no more. Bent elbows and spillage are disqualifying, and the world record for this international sport is about fifteen minutes, according to Tammara Baker of the Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.
Pick the right partner for the Hang Dog competition, where participants chomp at a sausage hanging from an elastic string. The challenge is compounded by competing with hands behind the back, at the mercy of partners who can yank the sausage away by pulling on the string.
“They can be nice or mean,” Baker said.
The truly committed can enroll in Wurst University. For $20, sausage scholars receive a t-shirt and diploma from Wurst University presented by “Dean Wiener,” as well as four vouchers for samples from local vendors. Participating vendors include Amana Meat Shop & Smokehouse, Newhall Locker, Cook’s Meat Locker and PHAT Daddy’s. The sausage-makers will also be competing for “People’s Choice” and “Best of the Wurst” trophies.
The festival’s $5 admission also includes sausage samples, live music by 5 Guys and a Gal and a Kubb demonstration (a Swedish yard game where rods are thrown at blocks, similar to bowling or horseshoes.) Guests can wash down the meat with local beer and wine and sample desserts and other local fare.